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Residents as destination advocates: the role of attraction familiarity on destination image

Residents as destination advocates: the role of attraction familiarity on destination image Emphasizing the role of residents as destination advocates, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of residents’ familiarity with, and, favorability of attractions on destination image.Design/methodology/approachA mixed methods research strategy was employed using 15 individual in-depth interviews and a survey questionnaire with a sample of n=364. The study utilizes an attraction familiarity index to classify respondents into four groups based on high, average, and low familiarity and examines the characteristics of each in the relationship between informational familiarity, experiential familiarity, and favorability and destination image.FindingsThe study reveals resident perceptions of attractions within the tourism product assembly framework and illustrates the positive relationship between the residents’ level of familiarity with, and favorability of visitor attractions and destination image. Further, the findings also demonstrate the significant role of demographic characteristics such as gender and length of residency in the area. The study findings suggest that temporary residents can function as destination advocates.Research limitations/implicationsEmployees and students from a prominent northeastern university were sampled, representing local residents and temporary residents respectively. While appropriate and fairly representative of the target market for the research questions in this investigation, more work is required to replicate this study utilizing representative samples across different locations.Practical implicationsEvidence from the study indicates the importance of marketing to residents as they serve as destination advocates. In particular, the residents’ familiarity with and favorability of attractions is critical to positive destination image. The research offers insights into the identification of potential segments of residents that require special attention.Originality/valueLimited existing research investigates the role of residents as destination advocates, especially in the context of destinations that lack a primary tourism attraction but have a well-balanced mix of attractions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights Emerald Publishing

Residents as destination advocates: the role of attraction familiarity on destination image

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References (56)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2514-9792
DOI
10.1108/jhti-06-2018-0034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Emphasizing the role of residents as destination advocates, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of residents’ familiarity with, and, favorability of attractions on destination image.Design/methodology/approachA mixed methods research strategy was employed using 15 individual in-depth interviews and a survey questionnaire with a sample of n=364. The study utilizes an attraction familiarity index to classify respondents into four groups based on high, average, and low familiarity and examines the characteristics of each in the relationship between informational familiarity, experiential familiarity, and favorability and destination image.FindingsThe study reveals resident perceptions of attractions within the tourism product assembly framework and illustrates the positive relationship between the residents’ level of familiarity with, and favorability of visitor attractions and destination image. Further, the findings also demonstrate the significant role of demographic characteristics such as gender and length of residency in the area. The study findings suggest that temporary residents can function as destination advocates.Research limitations/implicationsEmployees and students from a prominent northeastern university were sampled, representing local residents and temporary residents respectively. While appropriate and fairly representative of the target market for the research questions in this investigation, more work is required to replicate this study utilizing representative samples across different locations.Practical implicationsEvidence from the study indicates the importance of marketing to residents as they serve as destination advocates. In particular, the residents’ familiarity with and favorability of attractions is critical to positive destination image. The research offers insights into the identification of potential segments of residents that require special attention.Originality/valueLimited existing research investigates the role of residents as destination advocates, especially in the context of destinations that lack a primary tourism attraction but have a well-balanced mix of attractions.

Journal

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism InsightsEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 16, 2019

Keywords: Destination marketing; Destination image; Destination advocates; Local attractions; Tourism product assembly

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